Driving While Disqualified - Calgary Criminal Driving Offences

Driving While Disqualified Offences in Calgary

The Charge

To be found guilty of this offence, the Crown must prove that:

  1. You were operating a motor vehicle in Canada
  2. On any street, road, highway, or other public place
  3. While you were disqualified from doing so due to a previous driving suspension, or if the province has suspended your license for any other reason

Even if your previous driving suspension has expired, you could still be guilty of this offence if you drive! You are considered to be “disqualified” from driving until you actively take steps to get your license reinstated.

Driving while disqualified is treated extremely seriously by the police, the prosecutors, and judges.

For example, in Calgary, the police have a unit of officers whose sole job is to catch people suspected of driving when they are prohibited from doing so. We have seen cases where the police stakeout and deploy surveillance for hours on the homes of disqualified drivers to wait for them to slip up.

Many judges have written judgements reinforcing the seriousness of this offence and confirming that jail is usually an appropriate sentence. This is because driving while disqualified is the equivalent of disobeying a court order and judges don’t look upon with much sympathy. Multiple judges have noted that this offence “smacks of contempt”. Some judgments have even said that driving while disqualified is as serious as breaking out of jail!

Bail Conditions for Driving While Disqualified

Since driving while disqualified is a violation of a court order, many judges will have some doubt that you will abide by conditions if you are released while your case winds its way through the court. This is especially so if you have prior criminal convictions. A sensible and accurate release plan could help persuade the judge that you are not a danger to re-offend if you are released.

Defend Driving While Disqualified Charge

The Crown must provide specific documents in support of this charge, which we will carefully review with you. You may have a defence based on your mistaken belief that you were permitted to drive, or an error in the court documents.

The Sentence

You can be sentenced to jail for up to 5 years, be put on probation for up to three years, and fined up to $5000. In addition, you will be prohibited from driving for at least one year if it is your first offence.

We can help minimize the consequences of being found guilty! We may be able to negotiate a guilty plea to a less serious charge, and put your best foot forward when the time comes to be sentenced. We will accurately and confidently advise the judge of all your positive qualities and other mitigating circumstances of the offence to ensure the best possible outcome. Some factors the judge will likely consider when passing sentence include:

  • The reason you were disqualified from driving in the first place
  • Whether you were committing other offences while driving disqualified (e.g driving dangerously, or with no insurance)
  • How much of your suspension was left to be served
  • Your reason for driving
  • The duration of the driving, and the reason you stopped driving
  • Your history of disregarding court orders

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Charges from outside of Calgary near Okotoks Michael had helped me through this time with getting both charges dropped. Michael has been very thoughtful and professional throughout the tough times. Top Lawyer in the Calgary area. Recommended to anyone facing traffic charges.

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After being charged with impaired driving, I retained Michael and am extremely pleased with the services he provided. He is very knowledgeable, professional and understanding. Michael kept me up to date about everything that was happening with my case. Within 3 weeks all my charges were dropped.

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Disclaimer: All results of cases handled by the lawyer/firm are not provided. The results provided are not necessarily representative of results obtained by the lawyer/firm or of the experience of all clients or others with the lawyer/firm. Every case is different, and each client’s case must be evaluated and handled on its own merits.

Successful Case Results

Impaired Driving and Over .08, Charges Withdrawn

Calgary Provincial Court
Case Number: 7519721

Our client drove through a checkstop, indicated he had some drinks that evening, and was noted to have glassy mirrored eyes and a smell of alcohol on his breath. He failed the roadside breath test, blew .140 on the evidentiary instrument, and was charged with impaired driving and driving over .08.

Once we were retained, we set the matter for trial and filed a motion alleging a violation of our client’s Constitutional rights under the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. Days before trial, we successfully negotiated the withdrawal of all charges.

Successful Result: No Criminal Record, Charges Withdrawn

Impaired Driving and Over .08, Charges Withdrawn

Calgary Provincial Court
Case Number: 5519791

Our client was observed accelerating at a high rate of speed through a parking lot. Upon stopping, the police observed that his speech was slurred, and he admitted drinking that day. He failed the roadside breath test, and was charged with impaired driving, driving over .08, and some traffic tickets.

Once we were retained, we set a trial date and filed a motion alleging a violation of our client’s Constitutional rights under the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. We successfully negotiated a stay of proceedings on all criminal charges in exchange for a guilty plea to one of the traffic tickets.

Successful Result: No criminal Record, Charges Stayed

Impaired Driving and Over .08, Charges Withdrawn

Canmore Provincial Court
Case Number: 7620141

Our client was stopped by the RCMP after being observed driving erratically. He had an odour of alcohol on his breath, blood shot eyes, and admitted drinking beer earlier in the day. He failed the roadside breath test, provided further breath samples at the RCMP station, and was charged with impaired driving and driving over .08.

Once we were retained, we carefully reviewed the allegations and found what we believed to be a fatal flaw in the RCMP investigation. We contacted the Crown Prosecutor’s office, and successfully negotiated a withdrawal of all charges.

Successful Result:
No Criminal Record, Charges Withdrawn
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Disclaimer: All results of cases handled by the lawyer/firm are not provided. The results provided are not necessarily representative of results obtained by the lawyer/firm or of the experience of all clients or others with the lawyer/firm. Every case is different, and each client’s case must be evaluated and handled on its own merits.